The New Times (Kigali)

20 February 2013

Rwanda: UN Official Commends Rwanda On Peace Building

Photo: Evan Schneider/UN
Louise Mushikiwabo, centre left, Rwanda's Minister for Foreign Affairs is congratulated on the country's election to the UN Security Council.

A top official at the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) has extolled Rwanda on peace building, saying the country is now a role model.

The head of Integrated Mission Training at UNMISS, Sam Abashe, was speaking on Monday at an event to open a two-week course on gender, leadership and peace building at the Rwanda Peace Academy situated in Musanze district.

"This country has exhibited tremendous efforts and policies in peace building from which other countries can draw lessons," said Abashe.

The envoy pointed out that Rwanda has successfully applied various concepts and explored different measures that are imperative in the peace building process.

"There is an inclusive approach involving men and women which can be used as case studies during this course," he said.

The course is the second of its kind to be organised for South Sudanese nationals following one on security sector reforms which ended last week.

It is intended to build national capacity in order to prepare the participants to effectively manage their national affairs once UNMISS leaves the country, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.

Meanwhile, Francesca Tengera, the Chairperson of the National Women Council said that Rwanda has fully mainstreamed gender in the peace building process.

Multi dimensional

"The strategy of integrating gender concerns and experiences is a major priority in the whole process of design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in all leadership and peace building activities," she said.

Tengera emphasised that peace building is a multidimensional process which requires long term commitment from both men and women as partners in the course.

"While men and women cannot become physically the same, the interests, needs and priorities of all should be given equal consideration," she noted.

She challenged the participants to overcome one of the challenges of bringing women into the process designed to address the effects of war to build lasting peace.

Regarding the negative biases, stereotypes and ideologies, Tengera cautioned the South Sudanese to carry out broad analysis and take note of the fact that what works well in one country may not necessarily do so in another.

"However, there are some examples of good or best practices to borrow from within the region," she said.

Benjamin Makur, one of the participants expressed optimism about the outcomes of the course.

"This is part of capacity building and we shall practice the acquired skills back home," he said.

Rwanda is one of the contributors to the UNMISS that was established to help restore peace and security in the country.

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